It seems that there are a few people, even outside UKIP, who don't quite see why the EU should go on increasing its own administrative spending and lavishing more and more billions on itself while keeping the economies of Europe in the tight grip of austerity.
Austerity meaning widespread unemployment, people eating out of bins, and severe cut-backs in the most basic services. Meanwhile the likes of Baroness Ashton are allowed to increase their own funding, spending more on foreign travel and top-quality public relations advisors.
Don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that the mess in the economies of Greece, Italy and Spain has got a lot to do with their own excessive borrowing, prodigal spending and endemic tax-evasion. I am not excusing their bad management or their short-sighted policies, but the trouble is that being inside the single currency zone prevents them from easing their way through the crisis by means of devaluing their currency.
The problems are their own fault, but the imposition of austerity as the only possible solution is the fault of the EU and its obsession with having a single currency.
So yesterday our MPs had the chance to vote Yes or No on whether to acquiesce in higher payments towards the EU's own corporate budget. Can we afford to give them even more billions after all those bail-outs, those contributions of £50 million per day, those creeping taxes and the soaring cost of the EU's Green energy policies? Surprise, surprise, the Labour opposition saw its chance to defeat the government and crack a whip over the Coalition. With the help of 50 rebel Tory MPs, the Nos won and Ed Miliband is the latest, bewildered candidate for a Eurosceptic label.
Will it make any difference? I doubt it. Even if Cameron vetoes the EU budget, I expect it will be passed and we will end up paying it. The days when one member state could actually stop anything by using its veto are long past. Cameron hasn't got the guts to leave the EU and neither has Ed Rubber-band, the bendy-all-elastic-any-policy-politician. Unless we find a leader who has got the guts to EXIT the EU, a UKIP leader in fact, we will end up paying that increased contribution. The money will go towards paying the vast pensions of Nick Clegg, Manuel Barroso and their limousined chums.
Labour has for thirty years given solid unwavering support for our EU membership. In the background stand the figures of Blair, Kinnock and Mandelson, all deeply committed to the EU in principle - if such characters can be said to have any. Blair has been rumbling on the sidelines of politics lately, talking about how we need an EU President and it should be a strong, charismatic, elected leader who can prevent the EU from breaking up. I wonder whom he has in mind for the job? I can't guess, can you?
Lenten Meditations: Saturday 25 March
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